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    183717

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    Nandita Gurjar, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. Before her current position, she was an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Northern Iowa in the Literacy division. While at UNI, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, particularly Methods of Teaching Early Literacy, for several years. Nandita led America Reads program and was an Iowa Reading Research advisory council member. She co-chairs Early Childhood Education SIG at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Nandita earned her Ph.D. in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida. Her research promotes inclusive, equitable learning and virtual learning communities. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals: The Reading Teacher, Reading Horizon-the Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, Childhood Education, TechTrends, Applied Instructional Design, Italian Journal of Educational Technology, and Educational Technology Research and Development. Nandita is passionate about promoting developmentally appropriate technology and literacy skills in children and mentoring preservice teachers through community engagement and service learning in her classes. She has been selected as the 2023-2024 Open Education Research fellow.

    Sohyun “Soh (pronounced as so)” Meacham, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Her research interests include teachers’ language use, young children’s oral language development in the classroom, and representations of minoritized children in picturebooks. With this research background, she teaches early literacy courses. She has been the state secretary of Iowa Reading Association since 2021. Her early literacy research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals such as The Reading Teacher, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education and Development, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, Journal of Children’s Literature, Race, Ethnicity, and Education, and Science and Children. Last but not least, in addition to this brand new OER textbook, her newer co-authored book titled Supporting Korean American children in early childhood education: Perspectives from mother-educators is forthcoming through Teachers College Press in November, 2023. She is currently writing another book about Asian American early childhood and intersectionality under a contract with Routledge.

    Constance Beecher, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Literacy in the School of Education at Iowa State University. She an Early Intervention researcher and educator, with an emphasis on language and literacy development. Her research is centered in the context of community-based research, and involves developing, evaluating, and disseminating interventions for young children that can be implemented by or for parents, teachers and caregivers in community settings. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals in early childhood, child development, special education and community engagement such as Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Early Intervention, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, and the Journal of Extension among others. She leads state-wide efforts to increase literacy access in communities through outreach programs such as Read Across Iowa and Raising School-Ready Readers.